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Meridian Institute

Climate Change and Energy

In a September 2009 speech, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called climate change “the preeminent geopolitical and economic issue of the 21st century.” Among governments and societies, awareness of the issue, agreement around the need to address it, and controversy over how to do so have all increased in recent years.

Meridian Institute is experienced in the climate change arena; we have been convening collaborative dialogues and conferences on the topic for well over a decade. Our projects have covered multiple aspects of climate change, including US energy policy, US and other national climate policy, international climate change agreements and policy, clean technology innovation, the effects of climate change on agriculture and of agriculture on climate change, and measures for reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, and other biological land uses.

Meridian’s climate- and energy-related projects have helped parties across the political spectrum and around the globe to establish communication, exchange ideas, and forge action-based alliances. Our efforts have spurred effective interchange among scientists, policy makers, industry leaders, environmental advocates, academics, ethical and spiritual leaders, and others. Many of Meridian’s projects have resulted in unlikely allies; for example, we worked with several Fortune 500 corporations and leading environmental groups to create the US Climate Action Partnership.

As society continues to grapple with issues related to the changing global climate—including its impacts on natural and human systems and the need to shift reliance away from fossil-fuel-based energy—Meridian will be there to help diverse parties forge consensus-based solutions.

    • United States Climate Action Partnership
    • In 2006, Meridian Institute assisted several large companies and national NGOs in establishing what eventually became known as the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). Meridian managed the USCAP process, including facilitating all policy negotiations of USCAP’s staff-level steering committee as well as its CEO-level board.
    • Council on Sustainable Biomass Production
    • The Council on Sustainable Biomass Production (CSBP) was a diverse, multi-stakeholder group that developed a voluntary biomass-to-bioenergy sustainability standards for the production of feedstocks for second-generation (cellulosic) bioenergy facilities. The CSBP was established in 2007 by Meridian Institute and Heissenbuttel Natural Resource Consulting.
    • Building Resilience to a Changing Climate: A Technical Training in Water Sector Utility Decision Support
    • Meridian facilitated the planning and delivery of a technical training for drinking water and wastewater utility managers and consultants, in collaboration with the Water Utility Climate Alliance, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Creating Resilient Utilities Initiative, and other water sector partners. Guided by a dynamic agenda and expert trainers, participants gained useful knowledge and practical skills for integrating climate science into all aspects of water sector utility capital planning and business processes, as well as communication skills for relaying this information to decision makers and other audiences. Held September 26–27, 2017, in Boulder, Colorado, the training focused on three important dimensions of building the resilience of water sector utilities: (1) the fundamentals of climate science, including sources of uncertainty to consider in long-term planning; (2) methods for adopting planning approaches for making adaption decisions in the face of uncertainties about how the climate will change; and (3) communications best practices for building a business case for climate resilience.